The Texas state House voted to impeach GOP state Attorney General Ken Paxton by a vote of 121-23 on Saturday, setting up the posibility that he could be removed from office.
A conservative warrior in the courts, Paxton has been the subject of high-profile headlines recently that talked about his lawsuits against the Biden administration. More recently, however, the AG seems to have fallen from grace within his own party, as a Republican led panel in the state House approved 20 impeachment articles against him this week.
Investigators accused Paxton of a number of misdoings. Among them is an alleged attempt to hide an affair, misusing his office to help a donor, and skirting protocols as he created a culture of fear and retaliation in his office, according to the Associated Press.
Justice Department officials in Washington D.C. have also taken over a case looking into alleged bribery and abuse of office, according to the AP.
Paxton has denied the accusations.
“It is not surprising that a committee appointed by liberal Speaker Dade Phelan would seek to disenfranchise Texas voters and sabotage my work as Attorney General,” Paxton said regarding the findings of the House investigation, according to the AP.
On Friday, Paxton called for peaceful protests ahead of the vote, claiming state lawmakers were ignoring the will of the voters who reelected him in November.
Some of the high profile suits that the Texas AG has been in the news for recently include pursuits of the Biden administration. One of his recent lawsuits accused the Biden administration of allowing immigrants to obtain green cards even if they may become reliant on social services.
According to the Texas Tribune, The lawsuit accused the Biden administration of seeking to “further its open borders policy by enacting a new agency rule that effectively nullifies federal law excluding aliens likely to become public charges.”
Ahead of the impeachment vote, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and former President Donald Trump both came to the defense of Paxton, with both issuing statements defending the attorney general on Saturday. Cruz described Paxton as "the strongest conservative AG in the country" and called the impeachment trial a "travesty."
"No attorney general has battled the abuses of the Biden admin more ferociously — and more effectively — than has Paxton," a post from Cruz's Twitter account read. "That’s why the swamp in Austin wants him out. The special interests don’t want a steadfast conservative AG. I understand that people are concerned about Ken’s legal challenges. But the courts should sort them out."
Likewise, Trump shared his support for the attorney general in a statement on Truth Social, stating he hopes Texas House Republicans will realize "this is a very unfair process."
"It is the Radical Left Democrats, RINOS, and Criminals that never stop," Trump's statement read. "ELECTION INTERFERENCE! Free Ken Paxton, let them wait for the next election!"